Ballan and Fliman do not like it when people refer to their pepper sauce as “hot sauce”. To them, “hot sauce” implies more heat than flavor and makes use of chemicals and extracts to maintain color. Although hot sauce is delicious, the two founders say that their sauce differs from hot sauce in that it brings out the flavors of the ingredients without a gimmick. The two create their small-batch pepper sauces using Fresnos, a lesser but still sufficient amount of scotch bonnets or spicy habaneros, kosher salt, white vinegar, red onions and lots of carrots. They do not use any other ingredients other than the ones listed above. That means that there’s no sugar, no essence, no dyes, or any hard-to-pronounce additives.
Although most of the pepper sauce brands add sugar to their ingredients to balance heat and to add flavor to the sauce, Fliman recommends forgoing the sugar part since chili peppers have an amazing flavor on their own, and you do not need to rely on added sugars. And there are no gimmicks, you can actually taste the sauce in A&B American Style Pepper Sauce, extremely fruity and fresh, almost as if it had just come straight from a home kitchen. It comes as no surprise that many people prefer A&B Pepper Sauce to the Carolina Reapers, Trinidad Scorpions, and mouth-obliterating ghost chiles that dominate the pepper sauce market. (Which to be fair, make good pepper sauce too). In addition to their original pepper sauce, they also make a sauce with garlic, which is a bit thicker, and one with more heat, which has 5 times more habaneros.
To prepare the source, they shred the onions, carrots, and chile, and then heat them up alongside white vinegar while pureeing the sauce by use of an industrial stick blender. After about 1 to 2 hours of very gentle pureeing and simmering, the mixture becomes crimson, smooth, and ready for packaging.
Of course, that’s not as simple as it sounds, many things came into consideration when Ballan and Fliman were developing their formula. Some of the factors they considered when creating the sauce include the type of chiles, how strong the vinegar should be, and how the sauce will be used. Fliman prefers more versatile sauces that have various applications and can be used on eggs, steaks, vinaigrette, and many other types of food. Some of the pepper sauces in the market have niche flavor profiles and only serve specific purposes.